UI – Part 91 – Why A Virgin?
What is the definition of ‘Covering’, expressed in the Quran and the Bible?
From the 7th chapter (Sura) of the Quran entitled The Elevated Places we find Sura 7:26. The Places are those on which, according to translator Maulana M. Ali, “stands the righteous servants of Allah who walk perfectly in the ways of truth and goodness.”
In the Quran Adam, created, represents man to whom angels are to submit – Sura 7:11 – “We (believers) created you….We said to the angels: Make submission to Adam. So they submitted…” Can we take from this that the Muslim man sees himself superior to the angels? Prior to that clause it speaks of believers destroying their opponents, noted in 7:4, “And how many a town have We destroyed!” then in 7:5, “…their cry (opponents) when Our punishment came to them, was nothing but that they said: Surely we were wrong-doers.” As wrong-doers I can only assume that means ‘sinners.’ But are we not all sinners, every one of us? Possibly the Quran refers to ‘wrong-doers’ as non-believers in Allah.
It is the ‘truth’ established by the Quran, Muhammad and Allah, that is being administered by Muslim men, and Ali’s footnote reads, “Truth must be established, be it by the destruction of its opponents or the overthrow of their power, or their ultimate surrender.” This is strong action, for a topic historically under debate. What is truth? Who is so ‘righteous’ to be in their person, their self, truth. It can only be the deity. That is not man. That is Christ. And yet the Muslim believes not in the Lord.
The concept of ‘credits’ for good deeds is outlined in Sura 7:8 and 7:9 as judgment is made based on the magnitude of good, heavy good vs. light good. ‘Just’ considerations are “for those whose good deeds are heavy, they are the successful” (7:8); “…as for those whose good deeds are light, those are they who ruined their souls….” (7:9)
The Quran clearly sees man created from ‘dust.’ The devil, Satan, is created from ‘fire.’ (Sura 7:12). The perfect man, from Ali’s footnotes, “is humble and meek” as a result. Those of a ‘fiery’ temperament are of the devil, the ‘jinn’. There is recognition of man’s sinful nature and that while on earth man will remain sinful – until “the day when they are raised.” (Sura 7:14) Thus thought is given to the Resurrection (having occurred historically 700 years prior – i.e. Jesus Christ). This represents, as did Christ’s sacrifice and Resurrection, the restoration of the spiritual nature of man, that spirit having died when Adam sinned. Christ’s Resurrection overcame that death. Adam’s sinned is noted in Sura 7:19 – “dwell…in the garden, so eat from whence you desire, but go not near this tree, lest you become of the unjust.” Adam and Eve were deceived by the devil, they disobeyed god, noted in Sura 7:22, “Thus he (Satan) caused them to fall…So when they had tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden.” We all know the story.
This first reference to ‘cover’ is the physical covering man did to hide his shame, the shame of the crime against God, his disobedience and sin. They then sought the forgiveness of Allah, Sura 7:23, “…we have wronged ourselves; and if Thou forgive us not, and have (not) mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers (the unjust).” The ‘covering’ is the human effort to hide the fault committed; a large leaf from a plant to cover one’s nakedness. It is of value as an attempt to ‘cover’ oneself, by one’s own effort, from evil. It is a form of man hiding from the truth of his own failings. What follows is god telling Adam and Eve they will live and die upon this earth because of their sinful nature.
This is an area where Christ is in dispute, for the Muslim, the Islamic scholar does not see Jesus as divine, thus as man subject to a mortal death. It is the divinity of Jesus, the purity of Jesus, his righteous nature that requires understanding.
Now for Sura 7:26, “O children of Adam, We have indeed sent down to you clothing to cover your shame, and clothing for beauty, and clothing that guards against evil – that is the best….” This ‘best’ covering is not clothing, or leaves, or plumage, it is the ‘covering of the spirit of the Lord. It can be interpreted as the ‘covering of piety.’ It is the Grace of god. There is where the Quran separates the men that believe in Allah and the men that believe in Iblis (the devil). “We have made the devils to be the friends of those who believe not? (7:27) Is it that easy? What about the sinful nature of man, how is that overcome, it remains, the stain, the polluted nature of man has not been erased? The devil is in the mind of every man; even when they pray. Can that not be said?
I like this area of the Quran and the doubts I raise are a mild consideration of the facts. This is where Christ, not as man but as God, comes in. The devil caused man to disobey God; man fell from Grace, the strain of human DNA polluted from that day forward. Alive physically, spiritually and enjoying eternal life with God, man then disobeyed and died spiritually and as punishment was eternally separated from God. Physical death was to follow. This is the result of sin in word, thought or deed. Man, by his own actions, even the heaviest of good, cannot ‘cover’ himself in righteousness without God’s help.
Why A Virgin
The Quran recognizes the virgin birth of Jesus. Mary was a virgin. “Allah has chosen thee and purified thee and chosen thee above the women of the world.” (Sura 3:42) In 3:45 we read, “Allah gives thee good news…whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary….” Mary asked, (Sura 3:47), “My Lord, how can I have a son and man has not yet touched me?” The answer (3:47), “…Allah creates what He pleases. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.” So in the Quran god breathed life, His life, into the Virgin Mary. Why, because He can do all things.
Have the Muslims ever asked, knowing Jesus was born of a virgin, why, why a virgin? I am going to provide the answer. The polluted DNA strain of man is in all of us. The only way for Jesus to be perfect, in human form & divine, was to not have the human stain of DNA corrupt his nature. Thus his birth had to be special, to be without flaw. Jesus provided the perfect example, the righteous example, to mankind. It was the only way Allah, God, could introduce himself into the culture of mankind. God’s perfect strain of DNA was mixed in, purifying that which was in Mary, and resulted in a flawless servant to all of us – Jesus. [Jesus is God the Son who became man.]
Man knew (and knows) his nature was flawed. Even when asking forgiveness the flaws of man remain. The stain can never be removed. God often used flawed people for his purpose. Examples are the Judges and Kings of the Bible, from Othniel to Samuel, Saul to Solomon. Between Judges and Kings the people-of-the-Lord succumbed to the ways of evil, honoring idols and enjoying the fruits offered by the devil. There were exceptions, believers in God, yet flawed. Abraham and David, revered in Old Testament writings were not perfect, as there is no perfect Muslim, no perfect Christian or Jew. Everyone is ‘unjust.’
That is why Allah, God, gave us all the ‘good news’ – Sura 3:45. It is the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ, born of a holy purified DNA – not the DNA as we know it.
Cover of Righteousness
To believe in God, the Truth, and be perfect in God’s eyes, man needed to be righteous. Man needed the ‘best of covering.’ (Sura 7:26). Impossible, though, without God’s Grace. Jesus provided that Grace. Having a pure strain of DNA, perfect, righteous, Jesus was substituted for man, all mankind, you and me, our sins, for the devil’s deception that causes disobedience, and punished in our place, your place, my place, for Abraham and David, for the witnesses, for all. He took our flaws and provided the ‘best cover’, the righteousness of God, for those that now believe in the Truth, that which is the most Holy.
Man was thus able to restore the spiritual life lost when Adam disobeyed God. Man was given the opportunity for a life eternal. The punishment for the sins, the crimes of man against God, was administered; the way was made clear for a life eternal with God. The sins of man can now be under constraint as having the Grace and forgiveness of God. Through his self-sacrifice we have been imbued with the Spirit of God, indwelling in those who believe in Jesus and the truth of the Resurrection. Jesus overcame both sin and death. We were made alive again in the spirit. In believing we are conscious of our sinful nature and are guided by the power within to lead the life God wants for the purpose God desires for man. His blessings are our happiness. His blessings are our joy. We uncover all of our faults, reveal them, to Him and He will cover us with His righteousness. Whatever we choose to cover ourselves will not be covered by God. We must reveal all our blemishes to have them then forgiven and covered by God.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
“…we are…created in Christ Jesus for good works….” (Ephesians 2:10)
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned –“ (Romans 5:12)
“So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” (Romans 5:18)
“…having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Romans 6:18)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:3)
“…if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)
Allah and God, the Trinity, may be the same God, but through the Quran changes made at the hands of man have taken the story that was known at the time of the writing of the Quran and made it workable for those scripting the document. Muhammad knew of Jesus, the Resurrection and the Virgin Mary. He wrote about each. His conclusions however did not utilize the clarity of the Bible, as it may not have been available except through conversation, and thus inadvertently altered. Certainly the text of the Bible as used today had been prepared, even written into books, books available along the trade routes Muhammad covered when in the employ of his wife, Khadija. What was available may not have been studied, however, as Muhammad was illiterate. Muhammad knew the truth of the Virgin Mary. What human born of the product of a woman and God could be the same, in any way, as any human in the line of Adam? Muhammad may have been troubled by this prospect, but when fully considered it only makes sense. Jesus was not the same as man.
That is the Why of Why a Virgin – so that God could live among us, demonstrate a perfect life, resist all temptations, and then be a Savior to us all. Thanks be to God.
May the blessings, joy and happiness that God provides for those that follow his lead, know his Grace, and be discovered by those that do not now know the Truth. It will set you free.
Grace and Peace